Friday, December 5, 2014

El Cajon Valley Dedicates New P.E. Facility

A ribbon cutting ceremony marks the completion of the new physical education building
On Thursday, December 4, the District celebrated the completion of the new physical education building at El Cajon Valley High School with a ribbon cutting and building dedication ceremony.

The new 22,780-square foot facility was built to replace two outdated locker room buildings, originally built 60 years ago, that did not meet current seismic safety standards. It will accommodate physical education instruction and campus sports conditioning programs.

The new ADA- and Title IX-compliant building features a weight room, comparable team rooms for boys’ and girls’ sports, coaches’ quarters, athletic trainers’ workroom, secure lockers, restrooms, showers, accessible outdoor restrooms for pool and stadium users, and a large general purpose/great room for gymnastics, wrestling and large-group assemblies. The last phase of construction will include restoration of the adjacent multi-purpose physical education courts.  

The dedication event included remarks by GUHSD Trustee Jim Kelly, Superintendent Ralf Swenson, El Cajon Valley High School Principal Erin Richison, student athletes Ninwey Esho and Michael Shearin, and Jerry Schniepp, Commissioner of the CIF San Diego Section.

Master Chefs in Training Whip up a Win

Santana students prepping their winning creation
High school teams from all over San Diego County participated in the second annual Master Chef competition at Orange Glen High School in Escondido on Tuesday, November 18. In a high pressure battle of culinary prowess, each team had $40 of shopping money and 60 minutes to prepare a winning dish for a panel of distinguished judges. 

Without any coaching from their culinary teachers, student teams were on their own to prepare, cook, and plate their masterpieces while judges roamed the kitchen areas watching techniques and asking questions. The Master Chef competition provides Career Technical Education students with an opportunity to bring their learning to life outside of their classroom.  In addition to applying math, science, and technical skills, teams needed critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and communication skills to get the job done in the kitchen and presented to the panel of judges.

At the end of a long day of cooking and fierce competition, the Santana High School team from Donna Small’s CTE Culinary Arts program brought home second place with their creation:  Chicken Schnitzel with parsley, pine nuts, and golden raisin Gremolata sauce served with creamy orzo and sauteed asparagus, peas, and basil.

Congratulations to our Culinary Arts teams:


Teacher – Donna Small
Students: Stephen Cliff, Noah Dotterman, Trystan Patron, Melanie Polonio, Griffin Rodvold


Dish - Seared salmon fillet lightly seasoned with olive oil and a hint of lemon on a bed of Basmati rice, drizzled with a pomegranate white wine reduction and served with a medley of seasonal vegetables.

Teacher – Eugenie King
Students: Matthew Hagen, Mayumi Booker, Isabella Busalacchi, Andrew Watkins, Andrew De Large

Granite Hills: 

Dish - Pan-seared salmon with chili cilantro couscous, sauteed asparagus and zucchini with Lemon Buerre Blanc Sauce

Teacher – Jill Enright
Students: Michelle Ramirez, Kyler Gilliland, Carlie Valdes, Jessica Garcia

GUHSD Innovators Share and Learn New Digital Strategies

Teacher April Baker and her students from Grossmont Middle College
On Saturday, November 15, over 30 GUHSD teachers and administrators actively participated in the annual San Diego CUE Tech Fair at La Costa Canyon High School.

Eight GUHSD teachers and administrators presented at the educational technology event, including April Baker (Grossmont Middle College), John Berray (West Hills), Jarrod Carman (West Hills), Mike Falconer (Santana), Dan McDowell (District), Matt Norris (West Hills), Josh Reyes (West Hills), and Mike Skocko (Valhalla). Our own Reuben Hoffman (West Hills) serves as the SDCUE Vice President and oversaw the organization of the entire event.

Additionally April Baker and Mike Skocko brought students and participated in the Student Showcase. Mrs. Baker’s students shared their Literature blog and Mr. Skocko’s students demonstrated the student built and supported gamification plug-in that is redefining classrooms across the country.